My acne is still present although less severe than a month ago. I’m still dairy-free and believe that has helped. I’m taking zinc and pantothenic acid, as well as eating lots of oysters, some liver, juicing vegetables and herbs. I’m hoping to get lots of nutrients to help with hormone regulation and acne.
I have decided the next step in changing up my diet will be removing nightshades. This may sound simple for someone on SCD since it’s just tomatoes, peppers and paprika (we don’t eat potatoes) but I tend to eat a lot of these foods, almost daily. Over the past few weeks I have cut down considerably the frequency of having them and this past week I started a complete elimination of them. I plan on giving it about 6 weeks before reintroducing to be able to see if they are causing any problems. As someone with a history of acne and joint pain, this is something I just have to test out.
I love how I planted only tomatoes and peppers in my garden and now won’t be eating any of them. I plan on freezing a lot of the tomatoes as puree and drying or pickling the peppers. I feel pretty good about avoiding them since I have greatly expanded my diet in the past few months. Even though I’m dairy-free, and mostly nut-free (only eat a few raw nuts or nut milk every now and then) I feel like I have enough food. I’m enjoying the focus on nutrient dense foods and am eating a larger variety of vegetables so I won’t get bored. I love fall root vegetables and squashes so it has been fairly easy to stay full and satisfied.
I recently did a bone density scan and it showed mild osteopenia. Nothing my doctor or I are super worried about and not surprising given that I have been underweight my entire life and dealt with digestive problems for a long time. We will be monitoring it and in 3 years I’ll go for another scan to see if there’s any change. My plan is to make sure I get enough calcium, vitamin D and other minerals, eat lots of nutritious food and broths, and add some weight bearing exercise a few times a week.
I also read a bit about how nightshades might affect bone health, so even more reason to try going without them for a while. See the article here: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1897-nightshades.html. Also see this article which has some great tips for what to do to reverse low bone density: http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/homegrown-osteoporosis-prevention-and.html. My vitamin D status has been excellent for years, so I don’t think there’s any more I can do there but will continue taking D supplements to maintain. I don’t do well with multi-vitamins, but minerals and individual vitamins seem ok. I am taking cod liver oil to keep a good balance of vitamin A and D, and will be looking at K2 food sources and/or a supplement.
Sometimes it seems like I’m constantly making changes to my diet. But, I think it’s necessary to experiment even within the guidelines of SCD. It takes time to figure it all out but it’s worth it. I have made a lot of progress in the past year even though I thought I was pretty comfortable with few symptoms doing full SCD with nuts, dairy and most legal foods. My update posts have been useful for me to keep track of my progress and what I have tried. I really think anyone doing an elimination diet should keep either a private journal or a blog. (Benefits of a blog is lots of feedback and ideas from readers!) Looking back I think I attempted dairy-free a few times but never quite succeeded until now. 😉